Greece’s unemployment figures came in at 9.6pct in October, but the improved figures mask negative overall market characteristics which include a smaller labor market, high youth and women unemployment, and poor working conditions, according to analysis at OT.gr.
The figures are a significant reduction from peak unemployment figures of 28.1pct, which was recorded in September of 2013, and are the first time that they drop below the psychological 10pct mark since August 2009, before the advent of Greece’s economic crisis.
However, in August 2009 when unemployment was at a similar level, the employed were at 4,551,600, which was 293,661 more than October’s figures, revealing that the labor market has shrunk and thousands of jobs have not been replaced.
Youth unemployment (persons up to 25 years old) is still at a high level, coming in a 23.7pct, and gender inequality remains a persistent issue, with women unemployment figures posting at 12.1pct against that of males at 7.6pct. Working conditions do not seem to have improved and persons with low skills are still struggling to find jobs.
So despite the improvement in overall unemployment levels, Greece has the lowest employment rate for those under 25 year of age and the second lowest employment rate for women in Europe.
Recent figures from Eurostat on the gender imbalance in the workforce echo the analysis, with central Greece unfortunately boasting the highest gender employment gap in all of Europe in 2022, at 31.4 pp. In fact, half of all of the regions in Europe with a difference between men and women in excess of 20 percentage points are in Greece.
Other recent reports at “Ta Nea” explore the added complexity of labor market shortages. Greece’s National Statistics Service (ELSTAT) recently released numbers illuminating that thousands of positions were left unfilled in Greece during the second quarter of 2023, with tourism, food and beverage, construction, industrial, security, technology and agricultural services suffering the most.